2021 Dissertation Prize in Humanities and Social Sciences : call for applications


PSL launch a call for applications to reward the best doctoral work in four Humanities and Social Sciences fields : Art Aesthetics Literature; Law, economics, management; Humanities; Social Sciences. Send application packages before January 31th, 2021.

Prix de thèse SHS PSL 2018 manuscrits de l'ENS

Every year, PSL launches a call for applications to reward the best doctoral work in the main Humanities and Social Sciences fields:

  • Art, Aesthetics, Literature (Art history, practice of the Arts & Art research, Musicology, history and theory in Literature)
  • Law, economics, management
  • Humanities (History, Philosophy)
  • Social Sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, Ethnology and Geography)

In addition to these four thematic prizes, the juries award a fifth prize for the best interdisciplinary dissertation.

Eligible dissertations must have been defended between December 2019 and December 2020 (included) in a French or foreign higher education institution. They can be written in one of the following languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Italian.

Application packages must be sent before January 31th, 2021.

For each prize, a jury gathers international and French leading figures from the field.


Each dissertation awarded the prize will be granted €5,000, split as follows:

  • A sum of €3,000;
  • €2,000 for a research stay in a university chosen by the winner, depending on sanitary conditions;

The winners are invited to give three seminars in a PSL school.


The application package must be sent by e-mail only to the following address:, and must include, in PDF format:

  • The application form (download)
  • the two dissertation pre-reports and the defense report;
  • two detailed reference letters (one from the dissertation adviser). In case of shared supervision, a letter from only one adviser is required;
  • Resume either in French or in English (no more than 2 pages);
  • The dissertation.

Dissertations should be sent preferably by email; however, should the file exceed the maximum possible weight, applicants may upload on this dropbox. Please remember to name the file with your name, the title of the dissertation and make sure to send us an email.
Applicants may only choose one topic among the four available. PSL may change the chosen category should the juries deem it necessary.

Any package either missing information or submitted after January 31th, 2021, will not be accepted.